What did Janie find unusual about the desk in The Face on the Milk Carton?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The desk in her mother's study has two deep file drawers. The upper one is "crammed with volunteer-related materials" from her mother's many pet causes. The lower one, however, is locked. Janie finds the fact that the lower drawer is locked "strangely frightening." Her mother is not one to lock things up in general, not even valuables like jewelry or silver. The fact that the bottom drawer in her mother's desk is locked makes Janie feel that there must be something very, very important in there, something that her mother really does not want to be discovered.

Janie has been tormented by the idea that she is the missing girl whose picture is advertised on a milk carton, and she is desperate to find out if her fear is true. She has been looking through her mother's desk in hopes of finding a key to the family's safe deposit box, where she has been told her birth certificate is kept. When Janie had asked her mother about her birth certificate, her mother had been uncharacteristically evasive. That fact, coupled with the mysteriously locked lower drawer of the desk, makes Janie feel that the proposterous idea that she is adopted, or, even worse, has been kidnapped, might in fact be true (Chapter 7).

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The Face on the Milk Carton

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